Caesar salad dressing is the first proper salad dressing beyond a simple vinaigrette I learned to make when I was just starting to learn how to really cook. I was thrilled to serve something with anchovies to self-professed anchovy haters who ended up loving it, and even my husband, who suffers from chronic salad apathy, requests this salad more than any others. In the winter months, I like to switch up the greens I use, often opting for lacinato (or dinosaur) kale in place of romaine lettuce; kale also stands up well to salty, kicky Pecorino Romano, so I use that instead of the traditional Parmesean.
1 bunch lacinato kale, thick center ribs removed and leaves cut into ribbons
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 fat garlic clove, minced and then mashed with a pinch of salt until pasty (you can do this with the broad side of your knife on a cutting board)
2 salt-packed anchovy filets, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1. Place the kale and croutons in a large bowl and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, garlic/salt mixture, and anchovies. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture while whisking, then whisk in egg yolk. Add the Pecorino and stir. Taste for any adjustments that need to be made- more salt/pepper, lemon juice, vinegar, or oil can be used to adjust the salad to your taste buds.
3. Drizzle some dressing over the kale and toss. Taste, and continue adding more dressing until your salad is sufficiently dressed, but not saturated. It’s always best to err on the side of under-dressing the salad and then having extra dressing at the table for those who desire more. Serve immediately.
* to make croutons: cut or tear several slices of bread (preferably something like a country style boule, French bread, or something crusty with a good chew to it) into 1″ chunks. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat, then sprinkle with kosher salt and bake at 375 degrees for roughly ten minutes (time will vary, depending on your bread) until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and let cool.